FBI agent testifies for second day in PG Sittenfeld political corruption trial

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For the second day in a row, FBI Special Agent Nathan Holbrook spoke in the political corruption trial of PG Sittenfeld. Holbrook oversaw the federal operation. The former councilman is accused of accepting $40,000 in campaign donations in exchange for support and votes on a downtown development. Sittenfeld faces two counts of bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion. Three other actors in this investigation are known by their pseudonyms, Rob, Bryan and Vinny. They are FBI agents posing as wealthy investors interested in the development of 435 Elm Street. On Friday, the jury watched another secretly recorded video of an encounter between Sitteneld and the men. This one took place in a hotel room in Columbus. It was casual with boxes of take-out chicken wings spread out on the coffee table, drinks in hand. Much of the conversation shown in court was between Sittenfeld and Vinny from New Jersey. “super controlled.” They discuss ways the city could possibly regulate these types of places. Sittenfeld said: “My mind goes to the zoning, the bonding. The LLCs were controlled by the FBI. They were referred to Sittenfeld’s political action committee, Progress and Growth. Before the trial began on Friday, the Defense attorney Charlie Rittgers entered the courtroom and said, “We’re only hearing one side of the case so far, and it’s not our side.” Rittgers started the Holbrook’s cross-examination on Friday Rittgers questioned him about the operation itself, the aliases and what he called “lies” that were told to Sittenfeld and other city leaders. Holbrook called it investigative techniques.The cross-examination will continue Monday morning.

For the second day in a row, FBI Special Agent Nathan Holbrook spoke in the political corruption trial of PG Sittenfeld.

Holbrook oversaw the federal operation. The former councilman is accused of accepting $40,000 in campaign donations in exchange for support and votes on a downtown development.

Sittenfeld faces two counts of bribery, wire fraud and attempted extortion.

Three other actors in this investigation are known by their pseudonyms, Rob, Bryan and Vinny.

They are FBI agents posing as wealthy investors interested in the development of 435 Elm Street.

On Friday, the jury watched another secretly recorded video of an encounter between Sitteneld and the men. This one took place in a hotel room in Columbus. It was casual with take-out boxes of chicken wings spread out on the coffee table, drinks in hand.

Much of the conversation shown in court was between Sittenfeld and Vinny from New Jersey.

They discussed setting up a legal sports betting center or bookmaker at 435 Elm.

Sittenfeld can be heard saying, “We need to make sure the sports betting is going and the Cincinnati operation is going.”

Vinny tells Sittenfeld that he needs to be “super controlled”.

They discuss ways the city could possibly regulate these types of places.

Sittenfeld said, “My mind goes to zoning, to bonding.”

Near the end of the meeting, Vinny is seen handing Sittenfeld two checks for $5,000 from two separate LLCs.

LLCs were controlled by the FBI. They were made at the political action committee of Sittenfeld, Progress and Growth.

Before the start of the trial on Friday, defense attorney Charlie Rittgers entered the courtroom and said: “We’re only hearing one side of the case so far, and that’s not not ours.”

Rittgers began cross-examining Holbrook on Friday. Rittgers questioned him about the operation itself, the aliases, and what he called “lies” that were told to Sittenfeld and other city leaders.

Holbrook called it investigative techniques.

Cross-examination will continue Monday morning.

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